Malleable Musings

June 2, 2009

Elections & direct mail

Filed under: Life at home, Trad marketing methods — Brendan @ 9:30 pm

It’s been an interesting run up to the European elections which are happening on Thursday.  The only marketing messages I’ve actually seen are outdoor (posters – mainly Conservative on the drive over to Skegness at the weekend) and direct mail shots that I’ve received at home.  Some of these appear to have been direct mail pieces – others pamphlets shoved through the door.

So far I’ve had stuff through from the BNP, UKIP, the Conservatives, the Lib Dems and Labour.  Interestingly the Conservatives have written to my wife twice, and my wife got a much more detailed leaflet from Labour than I did.  What was interesting about the Labour leaflets was the bits that they’d omitted from the leaflet to me were the bits I would have been most interested in.

None of the leaflets have done anything to make me want to vote for the parties concerned.  If anything that Labour think I’m not interested in their green policies has made me even more skeptical as to whether they deserve my vote.

In fact, the only leaflet that made me want to take action was that from the BNP.

I wanted to return it to their adpost address pretending to be a Mr. Singh in living at either 33 Golden Square, London, W1F 9JT or 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, NW1 8HX. They are the head offices for Clearchannel and Cymba who I believe ran their outdoor and SMS text messaging campaigns respectively.

(As a side note I find it interesting to see the backlash that Clearchannel have faced and wonder how this sort of new transparency is going to affect who companies accept as customers in the future.  I use “believe” purposefully in the previous paragraph as I’m guessing Cymba are the BNP’s SMS provider based on the number used and I’ve only seen Clearchannel mentionned on blogs and in a piece in Marketing Week – althought this piece has now been removed – hence the link to Google cache.)

In the end I settled for throwing it (and all of the other leaflets) in the recycling bin.

What was interesting for me was that compared to some of the recent …. is dead memes that have been circulating with respect to various web-based tools / sites the direct mail as a dead medium meme is positively prehistoric.

For what it’s worth I’ve not given up on direct mail yet.  As a mass marketing medium it’s definitely an expensive channel.  However for high value personalized sales I think it still has some merits as long as it’s done well.

By that I mean that some thought has gone in to the mailing and the right actions are taken before, within and after the mailing. i.e. the correct person is identified and forewarned of (agrees to) a mailing, the mailing is memorable and the person is followed up after the mailing, if the mailing itself doesn’t generate measurable/monitorable action.

I guess in a world where pull communication is becoming more mainstream any push communication needs to be handled with extreme care to ensure that the “buyer” (for want of a better word) emerges positively from their moment of truth.

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